Your Attention Please! Getting People's Attention with Software Notices

2008/10/24 3:00pm

Software often needs to communicate vital information to users: License agreements, crash report information, security risks in installing third-party plug-ins, and so on. These messages must be localized and presented in a way that compels users to read them, two goals that can be difficult to achieve in resource-limited open source software development. In this talk, we will present new visual design techniques to help address both issues. The techniques employ a blend of typography, graphic design, and layout strategies to capture people's attention and encourage reading, while wordless diagrams help address localization problems. We present our specific instantiation of these techniques in the data collection agreements of ingimp, an instrumented version of GIMP, and describe how they can be applied to other scenarios.